Funeral Savings Account for Mum

Sharon Lee opened a CDF Funeral Savings Account on behalf of her mother, Thelma McMahon, in 2010. Peace of mind for her family was comforting, knowing that when required the CDF would use Mrs McMahon’s savings to pay funeral expenses on the family’s behalf.

What made you open a Funeral Savings Account?

Aged 76, eight years before her death, Mum had a stroke and went into care. My brothers and I sold our family home. We hadn’t thought about preparing for her funeral until a friend mentioned the CDF to me and outlined the benefits of a Funeral Savings Account. It was clear to our family that the peace of mind offered by the CDF would be invaluable at the time of Mum’s passing. They explained that pre-paid funeral costs were not included as assets. It was, therefore, a way to become eligible for a government residential care subsidy.


How did you manage the account?

I worked with Mum to open an account – I was a joint signatory as I had power of attorney. We put the account in her name and in 2010 deposited a lump sum to cover expected funeral costs.

Account interest compounded and at the time of her death, six years later, I was pleasantly surprised to realise that the interest that had accrued covered the entire cost of her funeral! One of the benefits of a CDF Funeral Savings Account is that you receive the 12-month term investment interest rate, which is substantially higher than an on-call savings account.


What parish did your mother attend?

Mum’s was the first funeral to be held at St John the Evangelist Parish in Leeston after the Canterbury earthquakes of 2011-2012. She would’ve loved knowing that fact as when we were children, she was a very active member of the parish – arranging the flowers and cleaning the church. Her strong catholic faith sustained her well. Mum knew where she was going – it was up to us to smooth the path for her to get there. The CDF helped us to do that.


How did the funeral account get paid?

Our funeral director simply sent the account to the CDF and it was paid on our behalf. I didn’t need to think about a thing. Melanie [Perry] advised me of the steps required to redeem the funds which were straight forward. She alleviated a lot of stress for us.


What do you enjoy most about the CDF?

Two things come to mind: the fact that savings were set aside in a funeral account meant my brothers and I didn’t need to divide up money from Mum’s Will to pay funeral expenses. There was enough in the account to cover the costs for everything she had wanted for her funeral. I know Mum would have been extremely happy that her funeral was everything she requested, so we were pleased to be able to arrange that on her behalf.

Secondly, as the Bishop of Christchurch is guarantor of the CDF, we knew Mum’s investment was safe, there are no account fees, and the interest, set at the CDF’s 12-month term investment rate, was pretty good. Mum and I both enjoyed knowing that a small sacrificial return from her investment was gifted to the diocese to help fund their important pastoral works. Our mother felt as though she was ‘helping’ her church right until the end of her life.

The CDF exists to help the Church achieve its mission by providing loans and funding for activities that strengthen the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch.

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